School Plans to Search Students for Excess Snacks

Pennsylvania district faces backlash over 'lunch police' plan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2022 4:32 AM CDT
School Faces Backlash Over 'Lunch Police' Plan
The superintendent says students have been selling and trading snacks.   (Getty Images/BRPH)

A Pennsylvania school district's plan to strictly enforce limits on snacks has divided parents, with some praising the move and others denouncing the "Lunch Police." In a Facebook post last week, the Aliquippa School District said students at Aliquippa Junior/Senior High School would have their bags searched starting Monday and anybody who brought more than a 4-ounce bag of chips and a 20-ounce bottle of soda would have the excess thrown away, NBC reports. The district north of Pittsburgh said students who brought their own lunch to school would not be exempt from the limits. It said students have been seen bringing in shopping bags full of chips, candy, and soft drinks.

Superintendent Phillip Woods tells WPXI that students have been selling and trading snacks, leading to arguments. "We kind of have to look at the bigger picture and understand what’s reasonable," he says. "I don’t think any child needs to bring in family size bags of chips for the day. The children aren’t going to starve because they do have free meals for breakfast and lunch."

The district's Facebook post was deleted after it received hundreds of negative comments, with some critics saying the district should "stay out of the parenting business." "Maybe if school lunches weren’t so tiny and gross they wouldn’t need to bring extra snacks," wrote one commenter, per Education Week. The district wrote: "Thank you all for your feedback. If you have children in the district please contact your building principal. If you are an internet heckler, continue as you were." (More school lunch stories.)

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